Canadian and British Theme Pillow Covers

How to easily make Christmas pillowsI am on a bit of a throw pillow making obsession right now.  It started when I found a second hand fur coat which I used to make 5 fur pillow covers.  Then I followed that by making a set of dark red felt pillow covers, then moose winter theme pillows.

I still had some off-white fabric left over from a previous project.  I had two rectangular cushions stuffed with feathers pillows that had sun damage from outdoor use on the deck so I removed their covers and was looking for an opportunity to re-use them.

The moose pillows go well with the winter theme, and I wanted to continue that theme, and expand to a more sophisticated Christmas theme.  My husband, Andy, came up with the idea of drawing on our heritage and creating Canadian and British theme pillow covers.

This was very similar to the moose overlay, which was also made using iron-on adhesive.  I won’t repeat the full tutorial, but you can see it here.  These Canadian and British theme pillow covers took a few hours to make.  Simpler silhouettes are available and would have reduced the time significantly.

I had originally intended to use the same earth colored plaid from the moose pillow project, but I ended up using a old pair of red and black plaid flannel pajamas.  I like the white pillows with red plaid accents much better.

Re-using plaid pj's to update cushionsOne lesson I learned from the moose pillow that applied here was to make the overlay in a larger scale to maximize the impact.  I found silhouettes on-line and using PowerPoint I sized them as large as possible.

White pillows with red and black plaid accentsI only have letter size paper and that would work fine for the maple leaf, but it would not be wide enough for the lion shape on these pillow forms.  I copied the graphic onto 2 PowerPoint slides and then maximized for height, ignoring that they both would be too long.  I moved one graphic as far to the left as I could and the other as far to the right as I could.  After printing, I taped them together overlapping until they lined up to make the full lion (if you look closely at the tail you can see the join).

Printing silhouettes to update pillow covers

Part of the reason why I am suddenly making a bunch of cushions is that as soon as I finish making one I cannot decide where to put it because there are a lot of places in my house that need softening, a bit of texture or something graphic.  As you can see, I tried these new pillows in a few places before deciding on the front porch.

Thumbs down for using these on the chairs in the bedroom below – too much contrast with the upholstery fabric.

Canadian and British Theme Cushions

Also thumbs down on the white armchairs below.  These were the chairs that I re-upholstered and ended up with all this extra fabric.  The pillows are just too big for these chairs.

How to easily make Christmas pillows

On the front porch below in the white Muskoka (or Adirondack) chairs – just right.  Nice all year, but at Christmas-time these white and red cushions look their best.

Canadian and British Theme Pillows

Although my kids and I are from Canada, and my husband is from England, we have been calling the US our home for 6 years now so I will need to start looking into making American themed cushions next.  Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

You might also like: how to make moose winter theme pillows or DIY fur pillow covers.

Winter home tour - bedroom with fur pillows made from old fur coat Chalet styled bedroom with moose pillow and fur throw